Towards the human-centered design of everyday robots
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The recent advancement of robotic technology brings robots closer to assisting us in our everyday spaces, providing support for healthcare, cleaning, entertaining and other tasks. In this dissertation, I refer to these robots as everyday robots. Scholars argue that the key to successful human acceptance lies in the design of robots that have the ability to blend into everyday activities. A challenge remains; robots are an autonomous technology that triggers multi-faceted interactions: physical, intellectual, social and emotional, making their presence visible and even obtrusive. These challenges need more than technological advances to be resolved; more human-centered approaches are required in the design. However to date, little is known about how to support that human-centered design of everyday robots. In this thesis, I address this gap by introducing an initial set of design guidelines for everyday robots. These guidelines are based on four empirical studies undertaken to identify how people live with robots in the home. These studies mine insights about what interaction attributes of everyday robots elicit positive or negative user responses. The guidelines were deployed in the development of one type of everyday robot: a senior-care robot called HomeMate. It shows that the guidelines become useful during the early development process by helping designers and robot engineers to focus on how social and emotional values of end-users influence the design of the technical functions required. Overall, this thesis addresses a question how we can support the design of everyday robots to become more accepted by users. I respond to this question by proposing a set of design guidelines that account for lived experiences of robots in the home, which ultimately can improve the adoption and use of everyday robots.